Mechanism for water allocation in the irrigated agriculture has been subject of conflict and challenges in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) due to higher input in rice farming and increasing water shortage. How satisfactory is the allocation mechanism by the stakeholders (the providers, policy-makers and the farmers) and how do farmers perceive equity objective on the existing water allocation mechanism in Nigeria? This paper examines constraints confronting water distribution, farmers’ level of satisfaction and their perception on equity in the process of water distribution to farmlands in the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority (UNRBDA) in Northern Nigeria. This study employs semi-structured interview and validated questionnaires survey approaches with stakeholders. Data collected were analysed using thematic approach based on themes generation and simple descriptive statistics. Findings show that weak institutions, legal framework incapacity and aging infrastructures majorly hinder equitable water allocation in the irrigated agriculture. Varied opinions were observed on the level of satisfaction among the stakeholders. While 77.7% of farmers reported that equity objective is observed, 22.2% declined that there is equity in the allocation policy. Institutional reform and adequate funding for maintenance of facilities is recommended for justice and equity in water allocation.
Key words: Constraint, equity, irrigated agriculture, satisfaction, stakeholders, water allocation.
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